Blog post

Cloud and EDI – The Ultimate IT Mashup

By Benoit Lheureux | August 17, 2009 | 3 Comments

SaaS IntegrationEDICloud Computing

Question: What’s common about these events in the last few months?

Answer: They herald the ultimate IT / business Mashup: Cloud and Ecommerce, including EDI.

So … Cloud providers are adding EDI support; EDI providers are adding Cloud support. No, really.

Ok, but just don’t expect Cloud providers to voluntarily bring up EDI – it ain’t “cool”, you know.


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  • For a long time now, many people have waited to see at least some kind of support for EDI in a versatile environment. This will make it alot easier for the makers of Business Intelligence to use the cloud as a platform monitoring the flow of EDI without having to go through additional systems to get to the information.

    Perhaps this will be the opening for a whole new market of gathering and distributing information between companies.

    Very interesting!

  • Patrick says:


    I’m working for Babelway ( ) a start-up that is exactly doing that: B2B Integration (so it also includes EDI of course) on a cloud-based infrastructure (we’re using Amazon AWS) with Saas.

    We’re not just throwing buzzwords (even if it may sound like it :P) and we’re are betting that there is a market for companies that need to exchange all kind of electronic data and that don’t want to handle the infrastructure and know all the file formats. And we think that they still want to know what’s happening (and not get a blackbox from their EDI provider).

    So we have a web interface showing the messages that went through the communication channels and a visual mapping tool (you can do your mapping visually with a drag-on-drop tool directly from your browser) to set up your communication channels.

    We support all kind of protocols (FTP, FTPS, Email, AS2, EDI VAN, …) and file formats (XML, EDIFACT, CSV, Excel, …) that you can upload using a wizzard. But we also have a catalogue of protocols and file formats that contain preconfigured element (AS2 for some retailers, SAP specific XML, EDIFACT from Carrefour, Delhaize and others, …) and it’s continuously growing as new communication channel set up by our users can be made available to others, retailers set up their file format and retailers reuse them to connect with the retailers.

    We’ve convinced some big names with our solution (it is used by major retailers such as Delhaize or Carrefour, the leader retailer in Europe).

    If you’ve got time, I’d love to have your opinion on our tool, you can create an account and test it for free during one month at
    Help is available at

  • For a long time, well before “Cloud” was in vogue, we expected any managed services provider to include certain communications services such as http, FTP, SMTP, etc.

    For some reason, X12.56 has been walled off from the services we have come to consider as essential and included by default with our purchase of services.

    Since the routing of EDI messages is administered by electronic commerce services providers (VANs, internet commerce hubs), we have some routes that simply require :interconnects’, explicit agreements between VANs or ESCSPs to get x12 or EDIFACT messages to and from trading partners.

    Such byzantine arrangements do nothing  for the industry, although they have created a secondary wholesale routing and message reliability services market that caters to VANs for their inter-network needs. Loren Data Corp operates a hosted routing cluster for EDI messages that provides just such a service. For SAAS and PAAS vendors, they offer ECGridOS, a web services API that grants X12.56 routing and account authority to client platforms.